CRCD Research Speaker Series


CRCD Research Speaker Series

The College of Rural and Community Development is hosting a monthly speaker series during the 2022-2023 academic year highlighting our research. The series focuses on community-based research, Indigenous knowledge in academia, and best practices for ethical research. UAF staff, faculty and students are encouraged to attend.

Register now


2022-2023 Schedule 

The next presentation will be Wednesday, February 8th at noon AKST featuring Dr. Mike Koskey. Register using this link. 

CRCD Research Presentation will be hosted on the 2nd Wednesday of the month. 

9/14/2022: Dr. Walkie Charles, 

10/12/2022:  Michelle Demmert, J.D.

11/9/2022: Dr. Charleen Fisher

1/18/2023: Diane McEachern

2/8/2023: Dr. Mike Koskey

3/8/2023: Claudia Ilh

4/12/2023: Dr. Jessica Black

Presentation Recordings

Claudia Ihl and puppy
Dr. Claudia Ihl: Why the muskox crossed the road - investigations into the habitat use of Nome's urban muskoxen

Date: April 12, 2023
Time: 12 pm - 1 pm AKST

Dr. Claudia Ihl grew up in Germany and first  came to Alaska when she rode a bicycle from San Francisco to Fairbanks. She went on to receive a Master of Science and a PhD in Biology from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Claudia has studied muskoxen in NW Alaska for both her degrees and in her current position as Associate Professor of Biology at the NW campus in Nome. Claudia also worked with captive muskoxen at the Large Animal Research Station while she was a graduate student. In Nome, Claudia teaches a variety of classes and involves rural students in her research on muskoxen. Claudia's current project focuses on the increasing problem of muskoxen which invade the city limits of Nome. The exact reasons for this strange behavior are elusive, but Claudia believes that habitat created by human activities such as mining plays a deciding role. 
Claudia enjoys all outdoor activities such as backpacking, kayaking, skiing and fishing. She also paints watercolors and makes big, bad wire sculptures of bugs in her spare time.


Mike Koskey
Dr. Mike Koskey: Community-Based and Community-Initiated Research, Lessons Learned and Best Practices

Date: Feb. 8, 2023
Time: 12 pm - 1 pm AKST

Michael Koskey is an associate professor with the Center for Cross-Cultural Studies, which offers a Master's of Arts and a Ph.D. in Indigenous Studies. While serving in the Marine Corps he received a BS in Anthropology and a BA in Political Science from the University of Central Florida, and afterward received an MS in Anthropology from Purdue University and a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Mike's research focuses on oral history, traditional knowledge, ethnohistory, culture change, decolonization, resource use and allocation, food security and sovereignty, and indigenous cosmology/mythology. He is married and has two grown sons, lives in Goldstream Valley, and enjoys hiking and hunting with family and friends.


Diane McEachrern
Dr. Diane McEachern: Social work education with Indigenous adult learners

Date: Jan. 18, 2023
Time: 12pm - 1pm

Dr. Diane McEachern is a professor of rural human services (RHS) and Human Services (HUMS) at CRCD’s Kuskokwim Campus in Bethel.  She has taught there for 19 years and previous to that was the lead social worker for the Lower Kuskokwim School District.

She obtained her bachelor’s degree in Psychology/Philosophy from Missouri State University, her master’s degree in social work from Arizona State University, and her doctorate from Lesley University in Cambridge MA.  

Dr. McEachern’s research and doctoral work was the study of social work education with Indigenous adult learners.  She is program head for an innovative cohort model of education (RHS) that has as its foundation, Indigenous ways of learning and understanding.  This has made the program, taught out of the Kuskokwim and Interior Alaska Campus (IAC) popular among Indigenous adult learners from many rural communities.  

She was the recipient of the Emil Usibelli Award for distinguished teaching among other awards.  She enjoys roaming the tundra, photography, and hiking.


Dr. Charleen Fisher, Co-Create Initiative: Collaborative research in the circumpolar North

Date: Nov. 9, 2022
Time: Noon AKT

Dr. Charleen Fisher is a member of the Gwich’in, Koyukon, and Dena'ina community from Beaver, Alaska. She currently teaches at the University of Alaska Fairbanks as an Assistant Professor.

Charleen has many years of experience as a K-12 certified teacher and principal in the Yukon Flats and Fairbanks North Star Borough School Districts. She has held the positions of Executive Director, Native American Career and Technical Education Program Director, and Education Director with the Council of Athabascan Tribal Government, and has served as the Chief of Beaver Village Council.

She has a B.A. in Political Science, M.Ed. in Language and Literacy, a Graduate Certificate in Educational Leadership from the University of Alaska Anchorage, and a Ph.D. in Indigenous Studies from the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Dr. Fisher presented on the Co-Create Initiative: Collaborative research in the circumpolar North. Read the paper here:

Improving the relationships between Indigenous rights holders and researchers in the Arctic: an invitation for change in funding and collaboration

Copy of presentation


Michelle Demmert
Michelle Demmert, VAWA 2022 and the Alaska Provisions

Date: Oct. 14, 2022
Time: Noon AKT

Tribal Governance faculty Michelle Demmert will presented on the 2022 Violence Against Women Act and the Alaska Provisions. 

Michelle (Jaaghal.aat) Demmert, Tlingit, Eagle, Ḵaax̱ʼoos.hittaan (Man’s Foot) clan is an Assistant Professor in the Tribal Governance Department of the College of Rural and Community Development College. In the recent past, she was the Law and Policy Director at
the Alaska Native Women’s Resource Center, served as the appointed Chief Judge for the Tulalip Tribes and the elected Chief Justice for the Central Council Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska.

While the Chief Justice for her tribe, she served as the co-chair of the National Congress of American Indians’ Violence Against Women Task Force. Professor Demmert has devoted her legal career to advancing improvements and practices in tribal courts and has also worked in various capacities of advancing domestic violence protections for women and children.


Dr. Walkie Charles: Dynamic Assessment in a Yugtun L2 Intermediate Adult Classroom

Date: Sept. 14, 2022
Time: Noon AKST

Dr. Walkie Charles, Director of the UAF Alaska Native Language Center, presented on his research "Dynamic Assessment in a Yugtun L2 Intermediate Adult Classroom."

Walkie Charles (Yup’ik) is an Associate Professor of Yup’ik in the Alaska Native Language Program at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF). He also became the first Alaska Native director for the Alaska Native Language Center (ANLC) at UAF in 2021. He received his Ph.D. in applied linguistics in 2011. 

His interests include dynamic assessment, sociocultural theory, and Yugtun (Yup’ik) language teaching and learning. His dissertation was titled Dynamic Assessment in a Yugtun L2 Intermediate Adult Classroom. He has extensive experience in public school teaching and bilingual education for over thirty years both in rural and urban Alaskan communities.

CRCD Research Speaker Series Recordings: 

"Dynamic Assessment in a Yugtun L2 Intermediate Adult Classroom"
Dr. Walkie Charles

"VAWA 2022: The Alaska Tribal Empowerment Subtitle"
Michelle Demmert, J.D.

"Improving the relationships between Indigenous rights holders and researchers in the Arctic: an invitation for change in funding and collaboration"
Dr. Charleen Fisher

" Social work education with Indigenous adult learners"
Dr. Diane McEachern